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Weight Relief Thread

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Gary in Boston, Mar 4, 2021.

  1. Gary in Boston

    Gary in Boston Friend of Leo's

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    Not that I need it to worry about weight loss but has anyone figured out how much weight you save when you rout out under the pick guard ala "smugglers pocket" on your Telecaster? Gary
     
  2. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    Haven't done that! But if you take a Strat body made of ash, plane the top off, hollow it out and put a new top on, you can drop 2 pounds!
     
  3. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    You don't lose much weight by taking out a small area under the pickguard. Believe it or not, the hardware you use can have a significant impact on the finished weight of a guitar. Use a heavy machined brass or steel bridge plate and solid brass/nickel-plated knobs, etc., and the weight packs on fast.

    I've done weight relief a bunch of different ways. A cool thing to do is rout it out from the back and glue on a thin cap plate. If you rout inside the outline edge of the body, it''s impossible to tell from the front and sides that there are sneaky shenanigans going on.

    Speaking of sneaky shenanigans, here's a build thread where I tried something a bit...unorthodox. It reduced the bare body weight a full pound, from 3.5 lbs to 2.5 lbs:​

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/for-my-next-trick-sawing-the-lady-in-half-with-a-twist.993606/
     
  4. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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  5. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    My Logan is relieved like that. When I bought it Bob said it was weight relieved, but the body is Northern Ash so it's still pretty heavy so I thought maybe the Reverb listing was wrong. About two weeks after I got it I noticed a seam near the back. I flipped the guitar over and started tapping on the back and damned if I didn't find the chambers. Sneaky, indeed.

    - D
     
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  6. mrchen

    mrchen TDPRI Member

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    I've got a 8lb 8oz tele that I'm going to do this exactly to. Will report back once it's done but most people have reported maybe a 4-5oz reduction in weight if you're lucky.

    In my case it's to try and balance the guitar, as my particular example is extremely body heavy, so I'm hoping that the small reduction in weight has a larger impact on the "feel" of the overall instrument in my hands and less so on my shoulders.
     
  7. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    On a painted body : Routing under the guard :

    Not to extreme depth , but about as deep as the pu routs. Max saving is about a half pound , if you also drill through the jack hole , behind the bridge , and a few holes under the bridge.
    Hardware :

    A 4 ply tele pickguard can weigh close to 100 grams. A vintage style bakelite guard weighs 51 grams.

    A modern 6 saddle bridge can weigh more than half a pound , a vintage 3 saddle with cut sides and small saddles around 60 grams.

    A neckplate from alu will save you 30 grams , control plate the same
    .
    Plastic dome knobs can save up to 60 grams compared to Fender knobs , ad I cant telle the difference in use or looks !

    Tuners : Vintage style from 160-175 grams. Modern tuners from 200 grams , modern lockers up to about 300 grams for the heaviest ones. Lightest : Gotoh Stealth , 72 grams for 6 tuners !
     
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  8. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Afflicted

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    my harley benton weighed more than my kitchen table! horrible guitar. i went extreme on this and after it was still heavy so i chucked it at the bloody wall IMG_20210306_190417_572.jpg
     
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  9. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    One of mine : Squier CV Blonde , started out at 8 pounds. Guard weighed 81 gram ( very thick nylon on these stock ) Bakelite black guard weighed 51 grams, Minus 30 grams

    Gotoh Stealth Tuners versus Ping Vintage Tuners : Saved 75 grams.

    Homemade neck and control plate saved 60 grams

    Plastic dome knobs , 46 grams less than stock CV knobs

    Squire CV bridge plates are a bit thicker than vintage Fenders , and weigh about 90 grams with small saddles. Bridge plate in vintage thickness , cut down sides , saving 30 grams.

    A Tex Mex pu weighs ca 35 grams less , because there is no bridge plate. Its a good thing I like the sound of it !

    276 grams less , just from HW , and no drilling , a bit over half a pound removed.
     
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  10. WorkbenchJohnny

    WorkbenchJohnny TDPRI Member

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    This is a golden idea
     
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  11. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    I'm wondering what the typical Fender solid colour poly coat contributes to the body weight...
     
  12. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    I saw a quote from someone somewhere regarding folks complaining about the weight of hunting rifles in excess of 10 lbs.

    It went something along the lines of
    “If you can’t even carry the damn thing what are doing in the woods with it”?

    Seems like there is some carryover here.
     
  13. Ron C

    Ron C Tele-Holic

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    I’ve done this a couple of times with the same results: lost about 6-8oz, still too heavy to make enough of a difference.

    The only lasting benefit was that the next owners of those bodies got to buy them from me at an extreme discount compared to what they were worth before my “improvements”.

    I recommend either of two tactics instead: 1) the methods @Peegoo described or 2) buy an ultra lightweight Paulownia body and add weight via hardware choices if it comes out neck heavy.
     
  14. blackguts

    blackguts Tele-Meister

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    I took 7 grams of paint and routed 147 grams of wood
    16150653716375915852240830799273.jpg
     
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  15. peteycaster

    peteycaster Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Exactly what I want to try on a kit built thinline I have. I got the thinline thinking it would be lighter than my "real" tele. Still heavy as. Thinking I'll put in a P90 and rout out as much wood as I can as per your example.
     
  16. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is what I've done. Paulownia body, lightweight tuners, high mass bridge. I've got three guitars that all weigh under 6 lbs that I built this way.
     
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  17. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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  18. mrchen

    mrchen TDPRI Member

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    Alright-- Back from the routing table. I can't take credit for this one, work was done by the folks at Third Coast Guitar in Chicago. A great job with not a single chip or dent in the lacquer around the routing edge.


    Tele started out at 8 lbs 8 oz

    After smuggler's route, 7 lbs 13 oz!! I'm surprised by the weight loss myself. 11 oz, almost 3/4 lb.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2021
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  19. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks for the feedback about this weigh reduction: I've been thinking exactly the same thing about my avatar guitar, planning to do a smuggler's route like you've had done. Not so worried about marks to the body as mine is aged anyway, but will try to do as neat a job as yours. :cool:

    It's not as if I can't play mine as it is, but compared to my Classic 50s Tele the Partscaster is 1/3 heavier, so it would be good for my back to try to get it a little closer to the C50 weight.
     
  20. Gary in Boston

    Gary in Boston Friend of Leo's

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    Nice job and a great weight reduction........................

    Gary
     
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